Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is one of Ireland's best-known actors, but how did the Meath actor make his name? And what are his most famous movies? 

Brosnan grew up in Navan, before moving to the United Kingdom at the age of just 11. 

Abandoned by his father at a young age, Brosnan was raised by his grandparents after his mother moved to London to work as a nurse when he was just four years old. 

The Irish actor followed his mother across the Irish Sea seven years later, and after spending a brief period in Scotland with his mother May and her new husband Bill, moved to London. 

There, Brosnan left school at 16 and decided to pursue a career as a painter. However, he would later decide to join the Drama Centre London where he trained as an actor for three years. The rest, as they say, is history.

Brosnan graduated from the Drama Centre in 1975 and kickstarted his fledgling acting career by performing a variety of roles in a number of London theater productions. He would begin to land bit-part roles in film productions by the turn of the decade, sending his career on an upward trajectory that would ultimately lead to him becoming the fifth actor to play the world's most famous spy. 

His rise to Bond superstardom wasn't exactly smooth, however, and Brosnan would have to wait almost a decade after first being offered the role before he finally appeared on screen as the British spy. 

Read more: When Pierce Brosnan met Quentin Tarantino

The Irish actor had made a name for himself in the 1980s in the lead role of the highly popular American detective series "Remington Steele," leading many to earmark him as a future Bond.  

Brosnan even met with Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli on the set of For Your Eyes Only in the early 1980s. 

In 1986, Roger Moore stepped away from James Bond and Brosnan was offered the role of his successor. The stars seemed to have aligned for Brosnan after NBC had canceled Remington Steele in the same year, leaving him free to take on the famous role. 

However, his casting as Bond prompted renewed interest in the series and NBC decided to produce a new season in the show owing to its improved ratings. A helpless Brosnan was contractually obligated to perform in the new season and the role of James Bond went to Timothy Dalton instead. 

Brosnan suffered the heartbreak of losing his first wife Cassandra Harris to ovarian cancer in the interim when the Australian actress died in 1991. The couple had one child together, a son named Sean, and Brosnan adopted two children that Harris had with her previous husband.  

The Irish actor would have to wait almost 10 years before he finally became James Bond when he was offered the role in 1994. He starred in his first Bond movie one later with the release of "Goldeneye," one of the most acclaimed Bond movies ever produced. 

Incidentally, Brosnan would meet his current wife Keely Shaye Smith in the same year that he was offered the role of James Bond. The couple have two children. 

Brosnan starred in three more Bond movies - "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World is Not Enough," and "Die Another Die" - before departing the role in 2005. Each film was a success at the box office, but none of the three sequels came anywhere near the critical acclaim of "Goldeneye," and he was replaced by Daniel Craig midway through the 2000s. 

Read more: Pierce Brosnan says he wants to move home to Ireland

Away from James Bond, Brosnan has enjoyed an equally stellar career, playing lead roles in "The Fourth Protocol," a Cold War thriller released in 1987, and played a supporting role in the hit comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" in 1993. 

He also scooped a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 for his portrayal of Robert Gould Shaw II in "Nancy Astor," a nine-part BBC miniseries about the life of Lady Astor, the first woman to sit in British Parliament. 

Brosnan has additionally played a number of high-profile roles since ending his tenure as 007, including a starring role in both "Mamma Mia" musicals which both enjoyed huge box office success.

He recently portrayed a Northern Irish politician bearing a remarkable resemblance to Gerry Adams in the 2017 thriller "The Foreigner" starring Jackie Chan. 

More recently still, Brosnan starred alongside Will Ferrell in the Netflix comedy, "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga," which has received widespread critical acclaim.  

The Irish actor also established film production company Irish Dreamtime in 1997 which has produced several successful movies, many of which featured Brosnan.

"The Thomas Crown Affair" and "The Matador" are among the most successful productions from Irish Dreamtime, the latter of which saw Brosnan scoop a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in 2005. 

Brosnan has also been a long-term supporter of same-sex marriage and an environmental activist. 

Never one to shy away from his Irish heritage, Pierce Brosnan is one of the most successful and well-known actors to ever emerge from the Emerald Isle. His unwavering activism and campaign easily make him one of the greatest treasures Ireland has ever produced. 

Read more: Pierce Brosnan plays Will Ferrell’s father in new Netflix comedy “Eurovision Song Contest”

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